from front door to DIY headboard

July 23, 2014

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life, a lifestyle blog

About 1,000 years ago on Instagram, I teased that Eaman and I were making a headboard out of an old door. Maybe you’ve been waiting for the big reveal or perhaps you totally forgot about it (how could you?!), but now I can finally share the end result! The blue beauty now lives in our bedroom, and while I don’t think a headboard is all that necessary, I like that we made one so cheaply.

We spread out the project over a few weeks — starting with the cleaning, sanding and sawing outside in our complex’s parking lot and ending with painting and installing in our bedroom. As expected, Eaman handled the more mechanical work, like sawing and drilling, while I oversaw the painting. Through the whole process, all I could think was: How do DIY bloggers do this? Work on a project, photograph the steps beautifully and look flawless throughout? I was a hot mess.

But I digress. I dig the final look, and even better, I love that we used our creativity — and took a much-needed break from our computer screens — to make something out of virtually nothing.

Here’s how we did it:


  • Towels
  • Electric saw
  • Electric sander
  • Sand paper
  • Goggles
  • Old blanket you don’t mind getting paint on
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • (2) 2×4’s cut to your desired length
  • Screws and bolts (I regrettably forget the sizes)
  • Electric drill
  • Tape measure
  • Door knob (optional)

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

We found the door resting next to a dumpster by our apartment, hauled it over to our parking lot and left a note on it (“PLEASE DON’T REMOVE!”) until we were ready to work on it.

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

The door was filthy, so we started by cleaning it with paper towels, damp towels, and some Clorox wipes. We then proceeded to sand down the surface because after so much weathering, the paint was peeling and edges were rough. (I look so cool!)

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

We thought, “Hey, let’s just unscrew the hardware.” As it turns out, this was an old-school door with no screws to be found. How did we end up getting it off? By hacking away at it with a hammer until it came off. Keepin’ it classy.

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

We then brought the door inside because with all the painting and drying time, it’d be tough to keep it outside in our public parking area. There wasn’t much room in our apartment, but we somehow made it work in the bedroom. We lay down an old blanket and got to work on priming one side of the door. (You can paint the other side if you’d like, but it seems pointless since it’ll face a wall.) Our primer was not an odorless variety, so we kept as many doors and windows open as possible.

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

Once the primer dried, we painted two coats of Valspar’s Blue Bolero, a low-odor, zero VOC variety, which was so amazing to work with after the smelly primer. Teddy was locked out of our workspace for obvious reasons, but he managed to find a way to interfere anyway; we kept finding his stray hairs float into the painting area.

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

The 2×4’s prop the headboard up, and we needed two holes per 2×4 — one to attach the 2×4 to the door and one to attach the actual headboard to our metal bed frame (which has holes for this very purpose). Drill, baby, drill.

headboard-diy-8How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd LifeHow to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

For maximum support and hold, we positioned the 2×4’s on the thickest parts of the door. Based on our desired headboard height, we determined where to drill on both the door and 2×4’s so they would align properly.

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

Once the holes were in place, we attached the two pieces together with the screws and bolts. Now we had a headboard!

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

Even though we measured everything, getting the holes of the bed frame and holes on the 2×4 aligned required some finessing during the actual attachment process. But it worked!

How to make a door headboard via My SoCal'd Life

Et voila. Some people like to disguise the characteristics of the door, but we played it up by exposing the door slot and installing a new door knob. That door knob was actually what prolonged this post. I bought it from this Etsy shop, which was having a huge sale, and as a result, a slow delivery time. It arrived a few weeks ago, and now, I’m happy to say that we’re done! We were going for a Greek-Mediterannean-white-on-bright-color look. What do you think?

10 thoughts on “from front door to DIY headboard

    1. Archana Post author

      You know, I never thought of that, but you’re so right! That must be where we got the inspiration.


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